The 5 types of Property Responsibility

The 5 types of Property Responsibility

As young Army Leaders, it is easy to confuse the different levels of responsibilities outlined in Army Regulation 735-5 Policies and Procedures for Property Accountability.  Whether you are trying to increase your knowledge of the different aspects of Property Responsibility or you are conducting a Financial Liability Investigation Into Property Loss (FLIPL) it is important to understand the definitions of Command, Supervisory, Direct, Custodial, and Personal Responsibility.  The excerpt below from AR 735-5, Chapter 2, Property Accounting Requirements, provides the definition for each type of responsibility:

2–8. Responsibility

Responsibility is the obligation of an individual to ensure Government property and funds entrusted to his or her possession, command or supervision are properly used and cared for, and that proper custody and safekeeping are provided. Figure 2-1 shows the different types of responsibility and their relationship to the levels of command. The five different types of responsibility are—

a. Command responsibility. The obligation of a commander to ensure all Government property within his or her command is properly used and cared for, and that proper custody and safekeeping are provided. Command responsibility is inherent in command and cannot be delegated. It is evidenced by assignment to a command position at any level and includes—

(1) Ensuring the security of all property of the command, whether in use or in storage.

(2) Observing subordinates to ensure their activities contribute to the proper custody, care, use, and safekeeping of all property within the command.

(3) Enforcing all security, safety, and accounting requirements.

(4) Taking administrative or disciplinary measures when necessary.

b. Supervisory responsibility. The obligation of a supervisor to ensure all Government property issued to, or used by his or her subordinates is properly used and cared for, and that proper custody and safekeeping are provided. It is inherent in all supervisory positions, is not contingent upon signed receipts or responsibility statements and cannot be delegated. It arises because of assignment to a specific position and includes—

(1) Providing proper guidance and direction.

(2) Enforcing all security, safety, and accounting requirements.

(3) Maintaining a supervisory climate that will facilitate and ensure the proper care and use of Government property.

c. Direct responsibility. The obligation of a person to ensure all Government property for which he or she has receipted, is properly used and cared for, and that proper custody and safekeeping are provided. Direct responsibility results from assignment as an accountable officer, receipt of formal written delegation, or acceptance of the property on hand receipt from an accountable officer. Commanders, and/or directors of separate TDA activities will determine and assign in writing those individuals who will have direct responsibility for property.

d. Custodial responsibility. The obligation of an individual for property in storage awaiting issue or turn-in to exercise reasonable and prudent actions to properly care for, and ensure proper custody and safekeeping of the property are provided. Custodial responsibility results from assignment as a supply sergeant, supply custodian, supply clerk, or warehouse person, and is rated by and answerable directly to the accountable officer or the individual having direct responsibility for the property. Responsibilities include—

(1) Ensuring the security of all property stored within the supply room and storage annexes belonging to the supply room or SSA is adequate.

(2) Observing subordinates to ensure their activities contribute to the proper custody, care, and safekeeping of all property within the supply room and storage annexes belonging to the supply room or SSA.

(3) Enforcing all security, safety, and accounting requirements.

(4) When unable to enforce any of these, reporting the problem(s) to their immediate supervisor.

e. Personal responsibility. The obligation of a person to exercise reasonable and prudent actions to properly use, care for, and safeguard all Government property in his or her physical possession. It applies to all Government property issued for, acquired for, or converted to a person’s exclusive use, with or without receipt.

f. Responsibility relationships. 

(1) Command responsibility and supervisory responsibility depend on the location of the property within the chain of command. This responsibility is a part of a job or position and is incurred by assuming that command or supervisory position. It cannot be delegated.

(2) Direct responsibility is a formal assignment of property responsibility to a person within the supply chain who has the property within his or her custody, but not necessarily in their possession or for their use. Accountable officers always have direct responsibility unless it has been specifically assigned to another person. Accountable officers may delegate such responsibility by written designation or by issue of the property on a hand receipt.

(3) Personal responsibility always accompanies the physical possession of property.

Endstate:

Determining property responsibility can be confusing but by understanding the definitions outlined by AR 735-5 you power yourself with the information to make the correct choice.  Our end is that this article provides you with the knowledge to determine property responsibility.  When in doubt consult your Supply Sergeant, Property Book Officer, Executive Officer, and/or Battalion S-4.  If that doesn’t work, contact admin@2062.com!

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